Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Public Safety

Dueling Sides On Immigration Agree On Need For Federal Reform

Arizona's strict new immigration law has sparked debate in San Diego, however, many people agree the law is a wake-up call for the federal government to overhaul the immigration system. (Story continues below)

Arizona's controversial new law aims to identify and deport undocumented immigrants.

It requires police to question everyone who they suspect is in the country illegally. It allows citizens to sue if they think the police aren't doing their job.

In California, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's spokesman, Francisco Castillo, says the Governor believes piecemeal approaches don't work and will continue to push for federal reform.

"Governor Schwarzenegger believes that those individuals that live in California illegally are contributing to California's economy, a great deal actually. And so, he does not believe that deporting, for example, every single person that's here illegally is the right approach," said Castillo.

TJ Bonner is president of the union that represents the Border Patrol. He says it is questionable if laws like Arizona's are helpful.

"But it's heartening to see the public send a message to its government that it's very concerned about this issue and it wants some action," said Bonner.

Civil rights groups say Arizona's law makes anyone with brown skin a target.

About 215,000 undocumented immigrants live in San Diego County.